I’ve spoken recently about having so many things I want to accomplish that I’m having to force myself to take things one at a time and just get through them slowly, piece by piece. I want to eventually have every room in my house de-cluttered, reorganized, and redecorated. I want to make my own soaps, grow my own vegetables, and my own bread. I want to sew more and read more. I want to get more stuff for homeschooling, play more with my kids, do more special things for my hubby, and lose weight and take better care of myself. Quite a list, eh? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s like the riddle, “how do you eat an elephant?” One. bite. at. a. time. In addition to having a big list, I also have “low” days where I feel low on “something” (though I don’t know what that thing is) and I find it much harder to cope with my day. I usually get less accomplished and as a result let more pile up that I have to make up for the next day. Last week for some reason, I had a low week. After many days of not doing much and letting things pile up I finally latched onto a small doable project to get myself going again – my car.
I don’t have a true before picture, because I got the motivation to start on it last Thursday while I was in town waiting for Princess to finish her dance class. But I can say that I pulled out one grocery sack of papers, bills, etc.; one grocery sack of trash, and filled two small backpacks/overnight bags of the girls (that were already in there) with toys, shoes, and miscellaneous children’s items. It looked something like this:
(This isn’t my car, I found this pic online.)
Here’s my progress in pictures:
Last Saturday I pulled everything out so I could vacuum and clean everything. The front floor boards had some dirt and gravel. The black floor board is littered with paper dots from a hole punch we brought home (thanks, kids) and various dirt and crumbs. There are also stains on the seats, some of which were already there when we got the car, *ahem*, almost a year ago. I got halfway through and had to stop for the day.
My trunk was full of stuff that didn’t need to be in there and what was supposed to be in there couldn’t be found or easily accessed. There was barely enough room for groceries and it was hard to get the stroller in and out.
Monday, I finished the back seat and then I cleaned out the trunk. I pulled out EVERYTHING (computer stuff, baby stuff, car stuff), sorted it into stacks and put it away and then I finished by vacuuming the inside of the trunk as well.
And then it was clean!
I vacuumed everything, scrubbed all the upholstery with a rag and some organic cleaner, cleaned the dash and all the knobs, and cleaned the windows. I think I could probably get it even cleaner with a steam cleaner, but this is good enough for this time. Maybe next time.
And then I put everything back.
Before, my glovebox was full of unneeded papers. Now it only holds my owners manual, insurance and registration, a few other important papers, a small umbrella, and an extra light bulb (which now that I think about it should go in the box in the trunk.) I’m keeping an eye out for a container, folder or zippered bag to hold everything but the umbrella and a couple of pens so that I can just lean over and pull the whole thing out. Inspired by a post by Kel at BusyBusyMommy (and really – who isn’t??), I have stashed some plastic sacks, some glass & surface wipes, and a DG version of the Swiffer Duster in the armrest console in the front seat (along with some Carmex and a pen!)
To organize the kids, I pulled out a back-of-the-seat organizer that I already had and put it to use again. It holds two diapers and a travel wipes case, the girls’ sunglasses, a travel pack of Kleenex and a few spare ponytail holders. I bought a small container for 4$ to hold a small amount of “Car Toys.” The car toys may be rotated out occasionally, but they will not be taken in the house, more will not be brought out, and they will be stored in the box. Rolled and tucked between the toybox and driver seat is a shopping cart seat cover where I can see it and hopefully will remember to use it more! In the pocket on the passenger seat I’ve tucked away a few books. Also, the kids have a habit of taking off their shoes in the car, or leaving their bibles and papers in there after church, you get the idea. They both have small backpacks they can take their bibles to church in and bring their papers home in. I’ve already started re-enforcing the “carry your stuff back in” rule. Having the backpacks help with that.
The trunk now has plenty of space. A smaller stroller is on my wishlist, but until that happens I can get this one in and out with ease and still have room for groceries. I might one day replace the box with a sturdier container but in the meantime it is holding a flashlight, a compressor, a quart of oil, a gallon of water, a bottle of Febreze and a few other things. I didn’t scrub the trunk like I scrubbed the upholstery because I figured it REALLY needs the steam cleaner instead!!
As I said, I just took it a little bite at a time and I was able to get it all done. Taking it a little step at a time, though, (and leaning on God – alot!) I know that I can eventually get things done while I try to keep taking care of my regular chores, taking care of my family, and dealing with my unexpected roller coaster of high days and low days. One piece at a time. One day at a time. Or sometimes one hour, or one moment. Because God is so good.
Tackle It Tuesday is hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom.